DT 27310 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27310

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27310

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *+*/2Enjoyment ***

A somewhat straightforward puzzle – the initial run-through gave most of the across answers. A 1.5* for difficulty – I would have rated it slightly less, if not for the SW corner which give me a little pause. A solid 3* for enjoyment – especially for 25 and 9 across. Thanks Jay.

(P.S.  Apologies for any inconvenience due to the later time of posting, as I had to interrupt my drafting for a lunch appointment.)

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{ } are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Charlie gets out of bed for emergencies (6)

{CRISES} : [letter represented by “Charlie” in the phonetic alphabet] [gets out of bed, or gets up from anything].

5a    Quiet lake in Ireland — before journalist turned up! (8)

{PLOUGHED} : [abbrev. for the musical direction to play quietly] [an Irish word for “lake”) placed before(before) [abbrev. for a journalist].

9a    One’s prediction unfortunately not true in case of lumberjack (7-6)

{FORTUNE-TELLER} : Anagram of(unfortunately) contained in(in case of) [a lumberjack;one who takes down, well, trees].

Defn: “one’s” is to be read as “one has” – prediction, I mean.

10a    Nation seeing a married chap taken in by agents (8)

{CAMBODIA} : { A [abbrev. for “married”] [short for a person, including chaps, and often paired with “hot”] } contained in(taken in by) [abbrev. for the organisation of US secret agents].

Answer: A South East Asian nation.

11a    Cardinal‘s song? (6)

{NUMBER} : Double defn: 1st: What a cardinal in mathematics is; and 2nd: A self-contained piece of music (or any other entertainment).

12a    Sailor’s back on street before A levels (6)

{STRATA} : [ Reversal of(back) [informal term for a sailor, from the former material for sails] placed after(on, in an across clue) [abbrev. for “street”] } placed before(before) A.

Answer: Nothing to do with exams – nice misdirection.

14a    Speed up progress of divorcee with exercise and new diet (8)

{EXPEDITE} : [short for the one to whom you were married once;a divorcee/divorcé] plus(with) [abbrev. for the period for exercise, especially in school] plus(and) anagram of(new) DIET.

16a    Lock on Barbarian’s woman after game (8)

{HUNTRESS} : [a lock of hair] placed after(on, in an across clue) [a member of the Asiatic nomadic people whose name has come to mean “barbarian”].

Defn: …, not a barbarian woman, nor a competitive game. Another nice misdirection.

In mythology, ancient and modern:


19a    Slither around with no time for enjoyment (6)

{RELISH} : Anagram of(around) “slither” minus(with no) [abbrev. for “time”].

21a    Sportsperson making fish run? (6)

{SKATER} : [a flat fish] + [abbrev. for “runs” in cricket score].


23a    Gets bill, with robbers losing head (8)

{ACHIEVES} : [abbrev. for a bill;a reckoning of moneys outstandin] plus(with) [robbers] minus its 1st letter(losing head).

25a    Something both good and bad that could lead to glibness! (5,8)

{MIXED BLESSING} : A reverse clue. The answer is a crossword instruction that could lead to “glibness”.

26a    Be proud, though dismissed by platform (5,3)

{STAND OUT} : [dismissed, eg. a batsman] placed after(by, in an across clue) [a platform, literally, a raised floor, or figuratively, the declared position of an organisation or person].

27a    Go round, consumed by rubbish (6)

{ROTATE} : [consumed, eg. food] placed after(by, in an across clue) [rubbish;nonsense, especially pointless talk].


2d    Ray may do this about French parliamentary bill (7)

{REFRACT} : [with reference to;about] + [abbrev. for “French”] + [a parliamentary bill that’s been passed].

Defn: Not a ray fish nor the other setter, but one of light.

Answer: The “this” in the defn.

3d    Bush finds credit in reserve (5)

{SCRUB} : [abbrev. for “credit”, as seen in double-entry accounting] contained in(in) [short for one who replaces the incumbent, temporarily;a reserve].

4d    Vibration caused by Roller in good condition? (5,4)

{SOUND WAVE} : [in good condition;free from defects, etc.] [a roller from sea to shore].

5d    House sitters look mature (7)

{PEERAGE} : [to look at, intently or as if with difficulty] + [to mature;to get on in years].

Defn: Collectively, those who sit in one of the British Houses of Parliament.

6d    Poem about theatre in Greece (5)

{ODEON} : [a poem, lyrical and lengthy] + [about, say, a certain topic].

Answer: A kind of theatre in ancient Greece. now used as the name of many theatres and cinemas.

7d    Fashion model glad to get top award (4,5)

{GOLD MEDAL} : Anagram of(Fashion) MODEL GLAD.

8d    Being serious, set out to support merit (7)

{EARNEST} : Anagram of(out) SET placed below(to support, in a down clue) [to merit;to deservedly get].

13d    Panicked at Nixon welcoming Italian remedy (9)

{ANTITOXIN} : Anagram of(Panicked) AT NIXON containing(welcoming) [abbrev. for “Italian”].

15d    Person who buys almost perfect hunter (9)

{PURCHASER} : [perfect;untainted] [a hunter;a pursuer].

17d    A foreign male in maintained environment gets untidy (7)

{UNKEMPT} : [“a” in a foreign language, just across the Channel] + { [abbrev. for “male”] contained in(in … environment) [maintained, like some “the other woman”].

18d    Colour of small runabout perhaps on lease (7)

{SCARLET} : [abbrev. for “small”] [a runabout, perhaps, on 4 wheels] placed above(on, in a down clue) [to lease;to rent out].

Perhaps not a (small) runabout, but dress and name (almost) of the same shade:

20d    Deception left crew under six, nine having gone (7)

{SLEIGHT} : { [abbrev. for “left”] + [a rowing crew, named after the number of members] } placed below(under, in a down clue) “six” minus(… having gone) [Roman numeral for “nine”].

22d    Travelled west of Oregon for cowboy show (5)

{RODEO} : [travelled on horseback, say] placed before(west of, in an across clue, but as this is a down clue, perhaps it should have been “north”) [abbrev. for the US state of Oregon].

Those animals can’t help but buck, since their testicles have been strapped and bound – you would too if it was done to you.

24d    Force out and achieve victory, to a limited extent (5)

{EVICT} : Hidden in(to a limited extent) “achieve victory”.

The Quick crossword pun: (annas} + {teak} + {off} = {a nasty cough}

37 comments on “DT 27310

  1. Lovely puzzle, lovely pictures from scchua.best clue for me was 16A for sending me down the wrong avenue.Many thanks to the setter & scchua for am excellent review.

    1. 16ac had me bamboozled for a long long time. Buttress got into my mind and sat there stubbornly refusing to budge

      1. Same for me with 16A till the penny dropped, a good example of misdirection, also Shock for 4D. Thought 25a was a brilliant clue and liked the NW corner generally, probably about a 2.5* with a 4* enjoyment. thanks Scchua for the pics, especially 26a-have got a tie with lots of white sheep on it with one black-bought in a welsh gift shop!

  2. ***/**** Terrific – loved it! Best for long time, thanks Jay. I too thought 16a amusingly challenging.

  3. Fairly enjoyable today but too many ready writey clues. 23 across almost has the included word twice which fooled me for a while. 16ac was tortouous in the extreme. Yesterdays quickie somewhat knocked the stuffing out of me. The Bob Dylan tickets (note the plural) have arrived. My daughter is growing a grandson (thanks for the good wishes yesterday Kath and Only Fools). Saint Sharon has gone to her mothers. All is well with my world. Ta to all.

  4. Yes, this was very enjoyable. Have to agree about 9, 16 and 25a.

    I also liked 4 and 20d a lot.

    Hideous weather excuses me to go shopping for bathrooms – no sniggering at the back there – I’m fully aware I can get wet today without spending money!

  5. No space for my e-mail address, so wonder if this post will arrive !

    Thank you Jay, enjoyable and I managed to finish without hints for the first time for a few days. Thanks Scchua for your review, hints and photos as usual !

  6. 23a – I think you meant ‘minus it’s first letter’.

    It says awaiting moderation and seems to be displayed in reverse order – ie latest first – for some unknown reason??

  7. Agree with CS that this was easier than usual. Loved 25A. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for the review.

    Absolutely stuck fast on the last two of the Toughie.

  8. I have emailed BD to alert him to whatever peculiar thing is going on with today’s blog. My lunch hour finishes at half past but I will keep rescuing people from moderation until then.

    1. I installed a new plugin to test another facility and it must have upset the normal comment process – it’s now uninstalled. I’ll sort out the avatars later.

      1. It’s still not quite right as I just had to rescue Big Boab!

        Back to work for me now ;(

  9. Super puzzle, love backward anagrams always make me smile.

    Thanks for the review and to the setter.

  10. Fairly straightforward. Completed about half before lights out last night, and the rest this morning with BRB and electronic help. I would give it **/*** – favourite would have to be 4d, which was also last one in.

  11. Enjoyed today’s puzzle helped by Cafe Nero. Once I finally got it favourite was 20d. Off to walk the dogs now the sun has come out.

  12. Defeated by NW corner. Rest fairly straight forward. Thanks

    Have you noticed that we’ve had pomp in the quick 3 times recently and surely
    Aloofly is not a word.

  13. This is one of those that prove a crossword doesn’t have to be hard to be enjoyable.

    Thanks to Jay and scchua.

    1. I so agree with you, Pommers. Thoroughly enjoyable though untaxing. Thank you Jay, and scchua for hints which were not needed today.

  14. Like Miffypops (congratulations on the terrific news of grandchild to be – & I am very envious of your Bob Dylan tickets too!) I struggled to get past Buttress for 16a. A super clue. Had a moment of utter madness by putting in detract for 2d which isn’t even a word…. But thank you to setter for much fun, and to Scchua for great hints.

      1. Sorry, Merusa – a slip of my typing – it was deFract that I was trying to make fit. I’ll be delighted if you tell me that’s a legitimate word, as my dictionary refuses to recognise it and is now sulking in a corner… :-)

        1. No, can’t make a word of defract, but I see there is a word defraction, so we can just pretend you were right!

  15. I found this puzzle quite hard but very enjoyable. Maybe I havn’t tuned in to Jay today but I did finish without help. I’d say 2.5*

  16. I found this quite tricky but started much later than usual and I know that the cryptic bit of my brain works better in the mornings – 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    16a was my last one – well, it had to begin with RU didn’t it, because of the game – just couldn’t get beyond that. 20d took a long time to understand why. I started off with ‘angler’ for 21a – it was fish=angle plus R for run – not that I really think fishing is a sport!
    I liked 9 and 10a and 17d. My favourite was 25a even though it took me ages.
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    I’ve slightly lost track of weeks – do we think it’s Ray T tomorrow?

    1. No not legged it Kath, just that I have done the crosswords earlier as I have joined so many classes etc . I am a bit early to post and too tired when I get home!!! Much easier when I was just leisurely doing my crosswords and joining in the banter! Hopefully today will be different although…

  17. I really struggled with this one. I found the definations hard to spot in some,16a for example.I just found it hard for some reason.Thanks to setter and Sschua.

  18. Just got to this ,agree with Pommers don’t have to be tough to be enjoyable
    One of the most consistent and smooth setters . If I had to pick a favourite it might be 10 a
    Thanks to Jay and Scchua

  19. Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, no real problems. Last in was 16a, was also my favourite. Was 2*/3* for me. All done yesterday before Lille en route to Brussels, a great day out!

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